During Dick Thiel’s years as a wolf biologist, and later while educating people about wolves for both the Wisconsin DNR and for TWIN, the most frequently asked question he’s heard is: “what can I do to get involved with wolves?”
There are simply very few opportunities to accompany biologists as they study and monitor wolves. The Department of Natural Resources, the US Fish & Wildlife Service and others don’t have the facilities, the equipment (buses, airplanes, etc.) and professional time to handle all of these requests.
So where does that leave you? One way you can experience what it’s like to accompany biologists is by attending wolf field biology workshops and seminars. Some are sponsored by TWIN through UWSP-Treehaven Field Station, Trees for Tomorrow, DNR-Sandhill Outdoor Skills Center, and Beaver Creek Reserve in Wisconsin, and through the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minnesota. If one of our workshops suits your needs, we’d love to have you attend and get acquainted with TWIN!
There is a difference, however, between fulfilling a need and getting acquainted, and fulfilling a commitment. For those of you who feel compelled to do something further to benefit wolf education and conservation, the very best thing you can do is offer your services to TWIN (or similar organizations). In other words, GET INVOLVED!!
At this point we usually hear something like this… “what can I do, I’m only a (secretary/bus driver/business person)…”
TWIN needs people with only one qualification: a strong desire to contribute some of their spare time to furthering its goal to… “educate the public about the role of wolves and recovery in Wisconsin and the Western Great Lakes region”.
So maybe you don’t know enough about wolves to actually teach a workshop, or you’re not able to go out and find wolf tracks for field trip, but…
We can always use volunteers to help us in a number of roles. They may not have much to do with teaching in the traditional sense, but even supporting roles are a vehicle of education. How about…
(1) helping us cook breakfast for a workshop, (2) taking a whack at critiquing our PowerPoint presentations, (3) contributing with graphic design and publicity, (4) assisting our trackers at one of our workshops, (5) researching and writing grants… TWIN is all about volunteers.
TWIN has been serving a public need for over 25 years, due to a very small cadre of volunteers who’ve been working very hard for that entire time. We’ve paid our dues and contributed significantly to wolf recovery in Wisconsin, and along the way we’ve all learned a great deal about wolves – knowledge we love to share with new volunteers.
We can probably use some of your spare time. If you are interested, you can attend one of our Board meetings and find out how you might fit in, or you can e-mail TWIN at email@example.com and we’ll make an effort to find something you might like to do.